“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”–1 John 1:3–5
During a long and distinguished career of service to his country, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. gained a reputation as one of the great legal scholars of history. After serving in the Civil War, he began an academic and legal career that saw him spend thirty years on the Supreme Court. His opinions were filled with well-crafted phrases that are still referenced today. At one point Holmes is said to have remarked: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.”
A miserable, depressed, defeated and joyless Christian does not provide a good advertisement for his faith. God has not planned for us to be miserable, but to be joyful. The fact that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit means that we are not responsible to produce it—instead we are to yield to His control and allow Him to produce joy in our lives. During his pioneering missionary work in Burma, Adoniram Judson was called “Mr. Glory Face” by the people to whom he ministered. What was on the inside showed up on the outside.
God wants us to be witnesses of His love and grace to a lost and dying world. If we appear to have no better hope than those around us, they are unlikely to listen to the message we want to share with them. The joy of the Lord shown in our lives will make our witness much more powerful.( Daily in the Word)